Michael Ellner of HEAL/AIDS interview
This is an interview done on Friday 22nd July 2005 at 4ZZZ community Radio in Brisbane, Australia with Michael Ellner from New York about HEAL, the international AIDS organization that has used alternative treatments for 22 years.
Cal Crilly- I'm talking to Michael Ellner of the HEAL organization over in New York.
Michael, I was just wondering how long has the HEAL organization actually been going for and how did it start?
Michael Ellner- HEAL started 22 years ago in 1982, and it started as a way to oppose the very, very aggressive chemotherapies and radiations that were offered early in AIDS prior to AZT. And as a group we looked at alternative non-toxic treatments and we believed that it was insane to give people who claimed to be immune suppressed, toxic drugs that were known historically to eliminate the immune system.
CC- So they gave you chemotherapy before HIV was even declared, back then?
ME- Early in AIDS when it was still called GRIDS, Gay Related Immune Deficiency which was the first face this thing had, it was viewed as primarily a gay cancer. KS.
CC- Kaposi's Sarcoma?
ME- Exactly, and the aggressive treatments were intense chemotherapy, experimental chemotherapies and radiation in amounts that were mind blowing.
So, this was steeped in hysteria and just to offer an alternative we formed to create like a safe environment for people to come in and talk about their experiences with the hope of helping people find alternative approaches.
CC- So how big has the HEAL organization become now?
ME- Well, we have about twenty chapters around the world each of them are independent and autonomous, we share our name in logo, and we have as a group have had contact with about a hundred thousand people over the years, maybe even more.
CC- You've had a lot of good success stories I presume?
ME- Well, yes, (but) on the bigger picture it's really a failure because most people take the tests, take the treatments, follow the mainstream advice and we've never been able to make a dent in that machine.
When people find their way to us we've seen a lot of benefits, a lot of people have been able to take charge of their health. Our particular focus of late since 1985 was people who were testing positive on this ridiculous test, this completely bogus test, and then trying to keep these people off chemotherapies.
You know, one of the terrible misrepresentations is people who test positive who are assumptively said to be infected aren't sick, and if they have low T-cells they are counted as AIDS cases. So in America and in the West you have over 50% of current AIDS cases involving people who aren't sick with any diseases which in my opinion is criminal and clearly reflects that something is wrong with the main theory.
And now they're taking combination therapies so the main killer is not an AIDS disease but rather liver failure, which would be an obvious indication the treatments are killing these people if anyone paid attention, but unfortunately this is something that affects gay men and I.V. drug users and people aren't paying attention.
CC- Do you have any contact with people in Africa at all?
ME- Yes we do, I've made the trip to Africa myself and we've made a number of contacts and there it's even uglier because there you have millions and millions of people who are starving to death, who are living in subhuman conditions and instead of fixing their infrastructure, instead of feeding them, instead of cleaning up the polluted water, they're offering condoms and deadly medicines.
So if we paid attention to what's going on in Africa, it is true, Africa is being devastated by a number of immune breakdown's related to malnourishment, related to parasitic infections, related to the classic diseases of poverty and they have been pulled into this AIDS blanket as if they are dealing with what's happening in the west which is a completely different phenomenon.
CC- What sort of response do you get from any other media?
ME- Well, we're ignored, or if we do get attention we're marginalised.
I asked a question asking 'do you get abused for what you do', I edited it because I was dyslexic.
ME- In the past there were lots of vicious name calling, homophobic, racist, murderers, misogynists, every time we challenged an official policy.
You know, women were included in the AIDS banner in a very devious and ugly way.
A woman who allegedly tests positive and has cervical cancer is called an AIDS case, but you could find the identical cases of cervical cancer in women who don't have HIV, so you think that a thinking person would say why call it an AIDS case simply because the person tests positive, but that allowed the officials to create the impression that AIDS is affecting women. Now, many women were aware of this fraud and allowed it because women weren't getting as good medical care as men and they figured who cares what we call it as long as we get better medical care, but that medical care has been chemotherapies which are killing these women.
So they thought what's a little lie going to do and that little lie is killing them.
CC- Are aware of problems with things like pregnancy causing a HIV positive test?
ME- You know we are and we've taken the position as a group that every HIV positive test is presumptive and people have to understand what that means, by presumptive I mean there is no proof, absolutely no scientific proof, anywhere on the planet that one person is infected with an HIV. These tests within their manufacturer's inserts, the package inserts of these tests, clearly indicate they do not prove infection.
CC- What sort of things are happening on the HEAL front?
ME- Well, we're hanging in there by the skin of our teeth trying to survive. We've been doing this for 22 years out of our own pockets. If you are a mainstream AIDS organization there are millions of dollars in funding from the pharmaceutical industries or from the government but if you're an independent organization and you challenge the official view, you can't use that funding in good conscience because it comes with strings, it comes with technical assistance, it comes with people telling you what you can say and what you can't say. So we are all volunteers, no one gets a salary and our struggle is just paying to keep the phone lines, just raising little bits of money to keep the internet website going, just trying to keep meetings happening.
So for us part of the struggle is just surviving as a not for profit organization and that's not a pretty picture and this is a particular rough time.
CC- Have you got anything else you should say at the moment?
ME- Have you interviewed Kim?
CC- I'm going to interview Kim in a moment, probably in the next half hour or so.
ME- OK, so just let people know where to find us on the web.
CC- Give us the website address now if you want.
ME- It's www.healaids.com
CC- OK, thanks tons, Michael.
ME- And if you have a listener out there who has an extra thousand bucks they're not doing anything with look us over and consider helping out.
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